tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 26, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
military that served in iraq and afghanistan, they point out when conducting raids in the middle of the night going after terrorist leaders, they're more likely to have their weapons switched to single shot. same as what the bushmaster .223 fires. why? because it's much more accurate. so mr. lapierre, i'll take the opinion and experience of those serving our country over your rhetoric. these assault weapons are weapons of war and they have no place on our streets and in our communities. thanks for watching on a snowy evening here in new york city. chris matthews picks things up right now. heading over niagra falls in a barrel. let's play "hardball." ♪
good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let's start with this. president obama and his republican opponents are about to go over niagra falls in a barrel, but nobody knows for shush how bad it's going to be. will the economy smash on the rocks below? will the stock market plunge a thousand points and keep on dropping? will the world money watchers see the u.s. drowning in its own dysfunction? or will obama and the dead-end opposition it faces be saved by the public's horribly low expectations of what they can do? what will prove stronger for obama and boehner? the barrels they're riding in or the power of niagra falls itself? joining me now is politico's jonathan ryan. how about an answer on that one? what's going to protect these guys more? the low expectations people have about them getting anything done or failing to do what they set out to do. they all set the deadline. they have the -- what do you
call it. the stakes are clear, the payroll taxes, income taxes, you name it. they put it all together. and if they blow it, who's going to get hurt the most? >> well, i think the republicans right now are hammering themselves in the foot over and over and over again. at some point they may figure out how to stop doing that. but in the short-term doesn't look like that's happening. i think the low expectations right now are only helpful to them if they can get a deal done. it's not clear that can happen. they may even fall short of these low expectations they've had for two years now essentially both sides the white house and the congress advocating their way of getting it done. >> the barrel they're riding in them, the dysfunction around them. >> house republicans have walked away. i was there at the house conference meeting when he says we're not having a vote on plan "b." we're in this horrible standpoint right now. asking harry reid to ask and president obama to act. >> harry reid's his lifeline.
let me ask you this. everybody watches politics. this isn't cnbc here, it's politics. let's get a couple things straight. you say right now that today it's a democratic advantage. obama looks like the guy is trying to get it done. republicans are the holdouts. >> it's not just me. look at the gallup reports. republicans have been going down. >> obama's 54%. right now it's a democratic advantage. >> democratic advantage right now. >> midnight monday still a democratic advantage? >> no. if you go over the cliff, everyone's in trouble. >> wednesday morning next week which is only a week away and we're into 2013 and no deal's been made, do you accept the fact that both guys are in trouble? >> i think it's a jump ball. i'm not sure what happens at that point. it depends on what the markets do. we'll say this. president obama doesn't have to worry as much as the members of congress do because he's not on the ballot again. >> but if there's a second recession, doesn't that kill his second term? >> i hear republicans and
democrats and obama want to come together on middle class rates. i think they'll make a deal in early january to extend some part. >> but are you saying this doesn't really hurt? if they go sometime next friday, nine days from now, will the market go down and come up or will it plunge? >> the republicans want to cut a deal before the cliff. >> i know that. but if this thing goes over the cliff, will there be term innocent damage to the economy like a new recession? >> republicans tell me they think if they can make a deal on rates early january the markets will fluctuate. >> i am hearing the markets have already reacted. >> for a couple days. couple days. >> yeah. >> i've heard another argument. a lot of people say, or at least people i've talked to, if they can't do it by the date, they can't count on anything gets done. it'll get worse every day. >> it has been for two years. >> let's look at isaacson.
i've never heard him say anything before. this is the first quote i've heard in my life. some republicans have urged their colleagues to pass something before the end of the year. they don't think it's a win for them to keep fighting. that means letting taxes go up on the rich. let's see what senator isaacson said. >> the truth of the matter is if we go off the cliff, the president will come back and proposing what he said in washington and we'll adopt it. why should we put the markets in turmoil and people in misunderstanding and lack of confidence? why don't we act now? >> okay so he says might as well do it. but you know the republican reason for not doing it now is? >> senate republicans want a deal done. but house republicans are in total chaos. >> why do they want a deal january 3rd or 4th rather than now? >> if all tax rates go up, any deal can be called a tax cut. it's simple like that. if you go over the cliff, anything's a tax cut. >> if you do it now how's it
interpreted? >> the interpretation will some primary voters is you danced around on rates. >> or they pass a bill cutting taxes continuing the bush tax cuts for under $500,000 a year. something they agree on. >> because of what bob's saying is they're worried some voters are going to look at that -- >> unaware of reality that they would confuse this week with next week in terms of the same results. >> governor norquist agrees with you. but some republicans e spshlly in the house who are unwilling to make the plan "b" type deal. >> but in the end where do you think it's going to end up? 500,000? 600,000 $? >> it's going to be in the middle. closer to obama's $400,000. >> i think that's about right. sounds about like $400,000. >> which leaves out less than 2% of the people. >> absolutely. >> people say that's an average income. most people make about $40,000 a year. that's average.
$40,000 and that's with three or four kids too. >> there's only a couple places in the country somebody would look at $400,000 and think it's extremely wealthy. >> even in washington, d.c. if you make $400,000 for a couple you're rich. >> this weekend the president's been a tough negotiator. as you said with republicans. i think he's been tough. the general reports about one meeting with boehner, quote, at one point according to notes taken by a participant, mr. boehner said i put $8 murkz billion in tax revenue on the table. what do i get for that? you get nothing. i get that for free. august of 2011. you missed your opportunity on that, the president told him. i'm suspicious of the way these quotes are remembered. first of all, i've learned this from reading lots of books. nobody remembers exact quotes. three yaers ago he said to me
verbatim. did you have a recording device? no. so these are grabbed from sources. sources have their own way of remembering. these make the president look like a schmuck. any time you're hearing it, you get nothing. he doesn't talk like that, does he? >> it depends. it could be partial quotes. it makes him look like a hard negotiator to his base. >> you get nothing. >> presents obama as playing too hard. >> if you're negotiating with someone, you put a cushion around you. but when you get in the room, how about this. we're almost there. i'd like to give you more, but that's where we were last year. that's what you talk like or do you say screw you? >> it sounds like these guys are sick of each other. >> is that something you can report that they don't like each other, they talk like guys on a street corner? >> they'll all say they like each other. >> do they talk like guys toughing it out on the street corner? >> i think they do sometimes.
>> what's amazing about that story in the journal is they're still having a conversation. >> its editorial pages and straight paper. did you get the sense this is a little tilted towards the republicans because of the sourcing? just about the way they admitted the source. didn't the obama people say we didn't want to participate in this because they thought it would harm the negotiations in progress? >> mark from politico had extra reporter around that. the president was saying when he said i get the $800 billion for free was pointing out people like johnny isaacson, tom cole in the house, conservative republicans who said look. we ought to get this done for the middle class. i think obama was saying to boehner look, i don't need to give that. >> $700 billion just for getting the middle class tax through. just for that. yeah. >> this is what he told his members in the congress. because of stories like this, that can paint the picture to the voters that obama's not
playing ball. >> trying to explain this to somebody from pluto. say in australia now. saying when congress wrote the cliff, defined it, spend cuts, increases on income, tax increase on state. they wrote it up as this horrible thing that nobody would want to face. either side, right? they designed it that way. now they're walking right over that cliff. over niagra falls. explain. >> it's like congress is on pluto and we're all on earth. they say they want deficit reduction. if you go over the cliff, you get deficit reduction, you just don't get it in the responsible, accountable way. it's like chopping off on arm. >> like says i want a shower, i'm going to niagra falls. >> they still can't get it done. we're dysfunctional. no other explanation. >> i think they can stop the roller coaster and make it go. they're doing a dance now because republicans don't want to do something to rates. obama wants to play hardball.
but i think they'll have a different argument later in the year. >> i guess both believe it's better to go over the falls than cut a deal that's going to hurt them at home. tea party people don't respond to boehner or to cantor or mccarthy or any of them. somebody in the next tea party is going to be yelling from the back, you sold us out. i think that's why the tea party is never going to be functional. they don't really respond to getting things done. they respond to anger back home. >> i think 2014 democrats are also aware of these tax increases. they don't want to run in a state like pennsylvania with these tax increases. that's why they want to run -- >> republicans. >> no democrats. if you're running 2014, you don't want all these hikes on your shoulders. >> with the farmers and ranchers there paying more when it's a million dollars -- >> you know what i have to say about max?
he's a careful man. he's been there a long time in a conservative state. you've got to be careful if you're in montana. happy new year, i guess. >> happy new year. >> thank you, buddy. coming up, we'll talk about plenty of republicans mitt romney lost the campaign. but the latest reason has come from his son tagg. he says his dad mr. romney just wasn't into being president. are we supposed to believe that? i saw this guy run his butt off for about six years for president. i don't buy it, but we'll see what the argument is. plus the chuck hagel for secretary of defense bubble has been popped. by floating other names. did obama's miss like bork even getting nominated? i don't like this process. and new reports the tea party process was imploding, imploding well before election day. including an attempt with dick armey getting aimed.
plus we'll have the top viral videos of 2012 including this one. >> we're all on our own if romney has his way. and he's against safety nets. if you fall, tough luck. so i strongly suggest that you wake the [ bleep ] up. >> actually, that's samuel l. jackson, he's a nice fella personally. this is "hardball," the place for politics. he really is a nice guy. i met him. lf? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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boston globe reporting michael cranish has written why romney lost the campaign this year. it includes access to insiders on the record including romney's oldest son tagg who says of his father, quote, he wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. he had no desire to run. if he could have found someone else to take his place, he would have been ecstatic to step aside. he is a very private person who loves his family and his country but doesn't love the attention. former huckabee manager chip saltzman is with us too. this is fun. this is joyful today. i love to know motive and reason. but i find it hard. i was never a big romney fan. i didn't have a personal problem with him, but i never thought of him as as thentic. the one time i caught him in iowa signing people's posters and it was a rainy day. i said to him can you say let them eat cake in french.
it's the ultimate side of being above everyone else. he says i can, but i won't. and he wouldn't look up at me. he's so trained and disciplined. he wanted me to know he was fluent enough in french, but he wasn't going to be stupid enough to do it on camera saying let them eat cake in french. should we believe he didn't really go for it with all he had? >> they said take a month and understand the campaign. you have to understand this is a private man going for the most public job in the country. and he did not want to talk about certain things in his life. and his campaign strategist did not want to talk about his mormon faith and background. >> we knew that about his business career embarrassing. the mormonism is i think a credit to the democrats. nobody likes to be that nice to anybody in politics, but i'll say this. i never heard a word spoken
against his religion. and i would have been ausoffend by that. it never came up as a negative. i never saw it anywhere. >> i agree with that. you give credit to where credit's due. they didn't take a shot on him in religion. that wouldn't have worked in this country anyway. and this is better than an inside baseball story. this is inside the dugout story. i'm not getting paid and i love talking about it. >> me too. what did you find as a journalist, what did you find? because you've been watching romney since he was a moderate republican not that long ago. m. >> 2002. of course he called himself moderate and progressive and so forth. the romney in 2012, he was talked into iz by his son tagg and wife ann. once he decided to run, he was all in. but there was this question how do you run? the signal was let's focus on president obama's handling of the economy and lesser emphasis on biography.
>> that worked well in that first debate. i was dying in that first debate he was so good. it was arrogant but it worked. why didn't he stay on that line he was in the first debate? >> there was an anecdote i tell on the story. he came into the office one of his top aides and he said we're going to have a project named after the atomic bomb. and that was to have 16 debate practices. he put an emphasis on debate preparation. and barack obama did not do the same thing. he had 11-day preps but skipped two sessions and wasn't as into it as romney. so coming into the debates, yes, that was a strong point. but obama had a great advantage in the ground game and -- >> all i know you get to that, the ground game. i learned about that. chip, that's what i think. you show your strength and had the night of your life, why don't you do it again? they find the sweet spot in sports and do it again. why didn't he try to be that romney again in the next two debates? >> you know, i think some of it,
chris, is remember a week before that debate we were already starting to write the eulogy for mitt romney and nobody thought he could win. we were talking about the nrcc dumping romney and worrying about house members. all of a sudden in one night, everybody believed. >> yeah. >> and it changed the dynamics of the race. >> so why didn't he keep it up? why'd he go after benghazi for two weeks? why'd he change from business experience? >> i have no idea. and, you know, really you almost saw what happened. it's like all of a sudden they woke up and said my god we can win this thing and didn't keep on the same path. everybody started kind of taking credit for that one good night instead of trying to recreate it night after night. >> let's cut ahead now. i love what you said about david axelrod and saying the guy wouldn't sell his religion. he couldn't sell the good work he did with relief society and looking out for members of his lds group. he couldn't do that without selling the philosophy of the
religion? >> there were family and friends that wanted the campaign to emphasize things romney had done. that was who he really was, talk about that. and a at the convention there was an effort to have a moving video. the problem is this ran before the networks broadcast in primetime, the commercial networks. and then in primetime of course was clint eastwood. so the message that got out was not -- >> that was a hail mary, that clint eastwood. it could have been worked but didn't. >> some of the people close to romney were upset by that. talking about the dynamics of the race, the dynamics were of the ground work of obama. >> let's talk about the groundwork. my friend came to me after the election saying we won't believe what we did. she talked about how they have a systemic basis and she's a grown up person my age. she said i would meet one person, they'd meet another. we'd have seven contacts with every voter. even if you had seven contacts with every voter, they could get that person to vote.
they made a contact that would convince them they're doing something that would have an effect. not just trying. and it worked. i mean, in every single part of the united states where they needed to win like florida, they did this. romney had none of this. >> the obama campaign had an extraordinary ground game. they decided to do something unprecedented in presidential politics. they wanted this one to one voter contact you're talking about. they had workers including volunteers on a 50 to 1 basis keep track of 50 voters. >> this is like running for state rep. >> well the national field director told me it was similar to how people were lobbying on the boston city council. that it was that direct and they wanted to replicate that a thousand times over. >> there are committee men and women that don't have that much contact on the streets like they did. >> obama had more people in florida than romney in nationally on a paid basis. so it gives a sense -- >> this is great reporting. i'll tell you. isn't this something everybody's
going to take away? how do you run for any office from now on without paying attention to this playbook of obama's, it seems to me. your thoughts. >> it is absolutely true. this is how you win elections. each presidential election we learn something new and try to build on it. just like the obama campaign in michael's article say they built on the article in 2004 when they increased his turnout. and we never saw it coming. this is what you build on. and in their software program in 2008 which was terrible. then they build on that and build this software that worked this time around. >> even b mike huckabee couldn't have beaten this guy, huh? >> you tried to get me on this before. i think huckabee would have been a great candidate for us and i think we could have been beat obama because we would have been able to frame the issues differently. >> perhaps more authenticity. >> but thanks for trying. >> i want to hear you say it some day. great journalism. it's the stuff that i eat for
breakfast. chip saltsman, happy new year to both you guys. up next, the viral videos that define the political scene this past year. a look back. this is "hardball," the place for politics. she keeps you guessing. it's part of what you love about her. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications,
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back to "hardball." now to the sideshow. some unwanted attention to mike crapo. one of the last places you want to be is the police station after getting stopped for driving under the influence. that's where senator crapo ended up after running a red light and then failed a sobriety test. crapo released a statement apologizing for his actions but something else about the situation is not getting lost if had the kerfuffle. as a mormon he has total voters in the past he abstains have alcohol entirely and wanted to
celebrate a bill passing with swigs of root beer. tell the truth. people respect it. to hell with the others. if you want to make a stop to one of the starbucks in washington, d.c. the next few days you might see the words come together on top of the cup. it's not an homage to the beatles. that was put on cups to push members of congress to come to a deal on the fiscal cliff. shultz followed up with a blog saying everyone should put the pressure on congress. a cartoonist went a more pessimistic approach. a box labeled deficit crisis compromised saying do not open until with all the holidays
crossed out signed by boehner and obama. all featured on politico's list of the top viral videos of 2012. the politico ones, of course. here's a look back. >> in the silvery moonlight that bathes every town, the people lie dreaming so safe and so sound. they're warm in their beds, snuggled up in the sheets. but four years before, they were out in the streets. sorry, my friend, but there's no time to snore. we're all on our own if romney has his way. and he's against safety nets. if you fall, tough luck. so i strongly suggest that you wake the [ bleep ] up. >> there's only one thing that might deny us the presidency that is the god-given property of the republican party. >> the 47%? >> nope? >> caymen islands? >> nope. >> $10,000 bet, i like to fire people? >> no. it's a story about an actual
shaggy dog. apparently on vacation old mitt strapped his dog to the roof of the car. >> it's me your jewish friend sarah. can you believe it's election time again? time to go to the polling place, cross your name off the list and vote. but this year it's not going to be that easy because there are these brand new super [ bleep ] up laws as a way to prevent voter fraud but are in fact designed to make it hard for specific people to vote. black people, elderly people, poor people, and students. i wonder what those demographics have in common. oh, yeah. they're probably going to vote for this guy. >> hey, i just met you. and this is crazy. but here's my number. so call me maybe. it's hard to look right at you baby. but here's my number. so call me maybe. >> actually, when we look back
on the off the wall of 2012, it will be hard to beat the real thing. up next, defending chuck hagel, president obama may find that filling the role of secretary defense is more difficult than he thought if congress plans to bork everyone he picks. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. aww man. [ male announcer ] returns are easy with free pickup from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit usps.com pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪ nice sweater. thank you. ♪ thank you. to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible.
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i'm tyler mathisen with your cnbc market wrap. no holiday spirit whatsoever on wall street today. for a third straight session, losses abound. dow down 24. the nasdaq down by 22. major retailers like walmart and macy's struggled today after one report showed that retail sales this holiday season were the weakness since the recession year of 2008. and amazon stock took a big hit
after netflix blamed the company for a widespread movie streaming outage that angered its customers on christmas eve. that's it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." president obama's choice for secretary of state john kerry is expected to sail through his confirmation process, but the president has yet to name his pick for the secretary of defense. that may be because the candidate who is reportedly the white house's top choice chuck hagel could be a powder keg. he's been attacked by neocons. engaging groups like hamas and statements he's said of the israeli lobby in washington. today in the washington post a group of former security
advisers all defended hagel saying he is quote, a many of unshankable integrity. far more telling comments over the weekend from influential senators. lindsay graham and the retiring joseph lieberman are hawkish on the national defense and both show trepidation about hagel. here they are. >> a lot of republicans are going to ask him hard questions and i don't think he's going to get many republican votes. i like chuck, but frankly all of them are out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. i think it'll be a challenging nomination. >> i wouldn't say that his votes disqualify him, but if i were in the senate on the armed services committee and he was nominated, i would have some really serious questions to ask him. president obama obviously has earned the right to nominate whoever he wants. but i think this will be a very
tough confirmation process. >> chuck schumer was also just like those guys. is this going to be too much of a fight for president? gentlemen, thank you. i want to start with steve on this one. this sunday when given the opportunity to defend hagel, chuck schumer i just mentioned, refused to do so. listen to what this very smart senator from new york had to say. >> that's his choice. i think once he makes it, his record will be studied carefully. but until that point, i think we're not going to know what's going to happen. >> can you support him? >> i'd have to study his record. i'm not going to comment until the president makes a nomination. >> steve, i have a sense that this knocking of this candidate has gone beyond neocons, people of the right. and including people who are just generally pro-israeli which is about most people in politics. i get the fear -- i have to call it fear because i liked hagel, that he may be in trouble now.
the shots that have been taken at him about calling it the jewish lobby which is a problem because obviously people are very pro-israeli from the right. to use that term these days is the kind of thing that just ends up causing a lot of problems with people in the middle politically. they'd say why does he say it that way? might sound like a small point to others, but the ones who learn their lingo of politics, it's important. your thoughts. >> i think tom friedman got it beautifully right in the new york times today -- >> he's pro-hagel. >> yeah. he's pro-hagel, but i think it took him awhile to get there. i think he's demonstrated right away the view of the jewish-american look on him is not monolithic. which he hadn't used, i think he was trying to say this was a difficult discussion to have in washington. he was trying to put it forward and say i'm trying to make the
des best decisions for israel's interest and more importantly for america's interests. i remember him speaking very often recently saying i'm not going to make a false choice being a strong advocate of ids reel's interests and other nations' interests. they've got to envision a structure in the middle east where all that neighborhood can get along. and for doing that he's been basically run over by certain aspects of the american-jewish community. and i think that's really who's been driving the debate. but tom friedman i think just put a lot of wind in the hagel sails again that had gone soft. >> here's what he said -- the great tom friedman of "the new york times." he defended hagel today. he wrote, quote, i am certain that the vast majority of u.s. senators and policy makers quietly believe exactly what hagel believes on israel. that it is surrounded by more implaquable enemies than ever and needs america's backing. but at the same time this israeli government is so spoiled and has shift sod far to the
right it makes no effort to take u.s. interest into account. and i agree with that. when netanyahu moved and cut off any chance of a united west bank government, he basically took a step that was completely in the face of u.s. policy going back to george w. bush. >> that's true. i think one of the things to be keep in mind is this pre-nomination process seems to have gotten completely out of control. where congress has too much to say who the presumptive nominees that any president offers forth. over history only 20 cabinet nominees have been knocked back. seven have been rejected and 13 have withdrawn those names. seven of those have happened under the past three administrations. so i think there's something wrong with this whole process where a presumptive nominee is litigated in public and the -- >> how do you avoid this? how do you do it?
>> he's got to make a decision. obama has either got to nominate him when he gets back to washington tomorrow or move on. >> is this the vetting process we've got now? in other words, the president doesn't decide who to pick. he gets an idea, a hunch, puts their name out there and see how it rides. is that a good process? >> no. it's a particularly cruel process to everybody involved. we've used the phrase borking. we've gotten around to the notion we have to do this with supreme court justices because it's opposed for life. but until recently, the president was given the leeway that he gets to run his administration and his cabinet the way he wants. and the only reason that a nominee would be knocked back, if there is some question of gross ethical, legal, or moral constraints. and we're seeing this now again and again where these -- it's an overused word, but these picks are being politicized to everybody's detriment. >> i know. steve, you know, here's where i think it is unfair. going back to the '90s and going after a person's on the record
comments about gays, it doesn't give a person any allowance for growth. we've all grown on the topic of gay rights and gay marriage. i have grown. i've moved from being skeptical to being all for it. i think i'm like so many people on that subject. especially younger people. and to hold a guy to what he said back at doing don't ask don't tell as national policy and say there's something wrong with this guy's thinking, i think that is unfair. >> i think, you know, that was 14 years ago. and i think that one of the things that i've tried to encourage the human rights campaign and other gay rights groups to do is begin reaching out to these people who are not normally part of the gay silo. if you're not an advocate and starting out there, sometimes people don't know. i've talked to chuck hagel about discussions i had with mike mullen years ago about don't ask don't tell. i wrote about that on my blog at the time. it was the only time someone in a journalistic way had
encountered and talked to hagel. but his comments about james hormel who is a great leader and i think hagel has incredible regret for those comments he made 14 years ago, haven't been sought. i told human rights campaign invite hagel to speak at a record. reach out to him. >> we always get -- i get into this. everybody knows i get into this. you say something the wrong b way. he referred to them as aggressively homosexual. what he meant was he's a gay rights advocate. it's not in his personal life. all he was accused the guy of is believing deeply in the rights of people born like him had the same rights. that's what the aggressive line meant. >> yeah. i think that hagel at the time said that he wasn't sure that someone of that aggressive homosexuality should represent the united states of america. i think it was a more serious statement, actually, than just saying he was aggressively homosexual. >> that's right. he meant in terms of rights. >> he was the first gay -- out
gay ambassador of the united states. there might have been others but they were not out at the time. i think he was basically raising -- you know, i was in chuck hagel's office years ago and there was a picture of him standing next to doing bear hugs with george bush and john mccain saying who are the thorns and who are the roses. this guy was deep into the heart of gop territory. so his comments back then don't surprise me at all. he's not there today, and i think people need to understand what an independent-minded man he is to have left that kind of close relationship with mccain which people aren't remembering and also george w. bush and how close he was to the heart of, you know, gop bias about these issues at this time. that's why i think his independent track and walk today has been important and so misunderstood. >> thanks for reminding us the opposition to same-sex marriage and rights generally is under
the platform as we speak. and hormel was representing so that point got through. jim frederick, thanks for joining us tonight. up next, an attempted coup if you will. to derail a movement off the tracks. although i think they have a lot of influence. look at the cliff. the tea party will not act to keep the government going. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
still no word on who may inherit john kerry's senate seat now that he's been nominated tr secretary of state. we know who won't. ted kennedy jr. says he won't run for the massachusetts seat because he considers connecticut his home. and it looks like ben affleck is sticking to life in hollywood instead of heading to washington. the star of argo, a great movie, says that he quote, loves the political process but i'm not running for office. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self?
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welcome back to "hardball." the tea party movement, if you will, has given plenty of material since they got started in 2009. this anecdote about the organization freedom works takes the prize. today's washington post. "richard ar armey walked in with his wife, susan, and and aide holstering a handgun. the gun wielding assistant ses courted freedom works' top two employees off the prem sis while armey suspended several others. the cue lasted all of six days. what does people like this at this main tea party organization for the move itself? msnbc political analyst. he's also rorlted on the freedomworks story. joan walsh is editor at large and an msnbc political analyst.
>> you start with what you've got. dick armey, i've known forr. he's really rich and eccentric. if he was rich, you'd say eccentric. the other guy is on here all of the time. who's the good guy? who's the bad guy? in this fight. >> i think they should say i achl. but it's become very bitter. >> but coming in with a gun, an armed guard and telling everybody to get out. >> that story obviously came about because people favorable wanted to get that out and make dick armey look a a complete madman. i spoke to dick armey and a spoke to the guy with the gun. he's a former capitol hill police officer who dick armey
has used time and time again as a private security guy. the volunteers his services. >> why did he need him in that moment. . >> they knew it was going to be a contentious meeting. so his wife and assistant said bring bo along just in case the freedom works guys go ballistic. the thing is -- >> what was he going to do with the gun? >> he's done private security for freedom works to begin with. it wasn't like they didn't know who he was. to me,the bigamist ri, why the washington post didn't say who it was. he was a guy who has done security at freedom works and was brought in. this indicates how bad the blood between the two sides. >> so the people on the left and the middle now don't understand the internals of the whole tea party movement. what's the riff here between
right and left? far right? >> kibbey says dick army wanted to make this a substantial organization. kibbe says no, they were basically enriching themselves. so each side has a completely different narrative. >> joan, jump in there. is it the far right? or is it about money? >> it's the right versus the far right. they're all a bunch of grifters. i love you and david to death, but you're become way too nice to dick armey. >> you're calling him a grifter? >> he walked away -- grifting isn't stealing, necessarily. he walked away with $8 million and he's mad at matt kibbe? >> you can't call a guy a grifter when they say we'll give you 8 million dlargs to get out of here. >> yes, you can. and david, for you to be saying it's not a big deal that he walked in with a guy with a gun because they supposedly knew the guy, i mean, they're all crazy.
>> come on, you guys. >> joan -- >> are we reflercting the right wing army? >> all i'm saying is the guy with the gun was a security guy who's been in and out of freedom works a lot and it wasn't a bigamist ri that he was there. >> well, he scared some people. apparently, he scared some people according to the post. a and i sat here when he said he couldn't be married to me. he's a grifter. >> i don't have a dog in the fieblgt. i came on tv to talk about politics and i was insulted. i'm glad they're shooting at each other and not at the rest of the america. >> that's why i like you, joan. the truth. the truth is the power. >> by the way, i'm only says he's not a crook.
>> the big point is, and joan is right about this, that freedom works is very important to the tea party. >> we want matt kibbe back here. >> if the group collapses, it's bad for the tea party. >> i just want them to get out of the way of government work. let it work. joan, happy new year. i mean it. you two are my favorites. i don't want to get everybody mad at me. you're among my favorites. when we return, let me finish with who is really watching the tea party. you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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